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Original Research

. 2022; 78(1): 11-37

Exploring the Direct and Indirect effects that Network-Based Measures Share with Measures and Outcomes of Attachment Theory

James B. Stein, Kathrine L. Fiori, Blakely Murphy.


Attachment theory proposes that adults’ avoidance and anxiety levels relate strongly to relationship inferences as well as individual cognitions. Extant work suggests that attachment tendencies may relate to extra-dyadic factors as well. The present study positions measures of network uncertainty, interference/facilitation, and overlap as outcomes of anxiety and avoidance, and partial determinants of trust and depression. A series of hierarchical models (using structural equation modeling) revealed that social network-based variables shared moderate-to-strong relationships with attachment variables included in the study. Moreover, network uncertainty mediated several relationships concerning attachment measures and gauges of both trust and depressive symptoms. Results exemplify attachment theory as one that can benefit from the inclusion of network-based measures as both predictor and outcome variables.

Key words: Attachment theory, social networks, uncertainty, close relationships

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